Minister Pandor thanks the world for standing with SA on ICJ and Palestine situation

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 5, 2024


Minister of International Relations Dr Naledi Pandor has thanked those who stood with South Africa as the country presented its case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Pandor, who has been hailed for waging a just fight against Israel and its violations of human rights in the Gaza strip, said that while the country had successfully presented its case to the ICJ, war crimes against the people of Palestine were continuing in spite of the recent ruling calling for Israel to take the necessary measures to prevent all acts of genocide, incitement against the people of Palestine and for Israel to take effective measures to ensure humanitarian aid to affected civilians.

Last week, the ICJ delivered its judgment and ordered Israel to take provisional measures to stop the killing of Palestinians in Gaza.

“I believe the rulings of the court have been ignored by Israel. Hundreds of people have been killed in the last three or four days, and clearly Israel believes it has a license to do as it wishes,“ she said.

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor (C) speaks to the international press following a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on a request by South Africa for emergency measures for Gaza, 26 January 2024. The UN court ruled that Israel must take all measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza, but stopped short of ordering an immediate halt to operations. EPA-EFE/Remko de Waal

Pandor, who addressed the media on a range of issues including the upcoming AU Summit, which take place this month, the recent summits of the NAM and the G77 Plus China held recently in Uganda and South Africa’s handover of BRICS chair position to the Russian Federation accused Israel of ignoring the ICJ’ s ruling.

She has indicated that South Africa wants Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be held accountable, while also calling on the countries of the world to consider the next move in the face of Israel’s continued bombardment on Gaza.

“It remains vital for members of the states to implement these measures. I suppose what confronts us now is: what do we do if there is no implementation? That is the question all nations must answer today because it is the body of the UN that has set out these provisional matters. It is not the South African government or South Africa on its own,” she said.

As such, Pandor said South Africa would “look at proposing other measures to the global community” in order to ensure the onslaught against the people of Palestine comes to an end.

“We encourage States that are so inclined to approach the Court to intervene in the proceedings so as to send a strong message to the international community that the situation in the Gaza Strip is indefensible,” she said.

Pandor said that even though the ICJ did not outright grant South Africa its request for the war to stop, the ruling was a significant milestone for the country and the people of Palestine.

She said South Africa will continue to do its best to help preserve the existence of the Palestinian people as a group, and to end all acts of apartheid and genocide against the Palestinian people.

Speaking at an ANC NEC Legotla event in Boksburg, SACP president Solly Mapaila lauded Pandor for her steadfast stance on war crimes being committed by Israel against the people of Palestine, saying he wished all Cabinet members and leaders of society would be as brave as her even in the face of Western imperialistic powers.

On Tuesday, speaking during his conclusion of the ANC NEC Lekgotla in Boksburg, President Cyril Ramaphosa affirmed that South Africa is fully prepared to see the case through, adding that the legal matter might result in the Western powers trying to force a regime change in the country.

“We are aware there will be systematic fightback campaigns. The fightback may focus on our domestic politics and our electoral outcomes in order to pursue a regime change agenda. There will be no doubt that these forces will do anything in their power to prevent South Africa from concluding their case on the merits of the matter,” Ramaphosa said.

Saturday Star

[email protected]